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[246] N. Couch, commanding my left division, that one of Smith's divisions was about to assault, I had ordered Couch to support that division, which movement had also commenced. Then General Thomas arrived near our right, where I stood watching these movements. This, about four o'clock P. M., was the first time I had seen or heard from General Thomas during that day. He gave no order, nor was there time to give any. The troops were already in motion, and we had hardly exchanged the usual salutations when shouts to our left announced that McArthur's division of Smith's corps had already carried the enemy's work in its front, and our whole line advanced and swept all before it.

In my judgment, General Thomas gave a little less than full credit to McArthur's division, and considerably more than full justice to the other troops, in his description of that assault, which was distinctly seen by him and by me.

The resistance along the whole left and center of Hood's line cannot be said to have been strong or obstinate. Our total losses were comparatively insignificant; and whatever may have been the appearance to the troops under fire, to a cool observer out of the smoke the enemy's fire seemed no more than that of an ordinary skirmish. But with the exception of the comparatively feeble resistance of the enemy, that splendid assault of McArthur's division, as I saw it, was very accurately described by its gallant commander in his official report, and also in that of General A. J. Smith.

The fact is that Hood's left wing had been much weakened to strengthen his right, which had been heavily pressed a short time before, as fully described by General Thomas, and his army was already substantially beaten. Its spirit seemed to be gone. What little fight was left in it after November 30 had been greatly diminished on December 15. Hood, almost alone of that army, was

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